Thanks to translator extraordinaire Amalia Gladhart, I’m very happy to be celebrating the first English language publication of Angélica Gorodischer’s novel Trafalgar. The credit for this book coming out also goes back to Ursula K. Le Guin whose translation of Kalpa Imperial opened our eyes to this excellent writer. I am so glad I put this rather optimistic line in our About page:
We are seriously interested in more translations — especially of Angelica Gorodischer. However, we are monolingual (sorry) which makes the editorial process difficult. If you are a grad student looking for a translation project which may be of interest to us, we recommend Gorodischer’s Trafalgar and Prodiges.
We heard from a few translators of Gorodischer’s work in the ten years(!) since we published Kalpa Imperial but nothing panned out so when I received an email in June 2011 from Amalia I didn’t know whether to get excited or not. She had published a couple of previous translations, The Potbellied Virgin and Beyond the Islands, both by Alicia Yánez Cossío of Ecuador, which seemed like a good sign. But I still wasn’t sure, of course, until I got the book.
The first story, “By the Light of the Chaste Electronic Moon,” is great and really off the wall—check it out in Fantasy & Science Fiction this spring—so I was on edge, wondering where the book was going. But the second story, “The Sense of the Circle,” blew me away and I knew we were going to publish the book.
When it was announced that Angélica was one of the two winners of the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award, I had a mad thought that we could get the book—or at least a chapbook—out in time for the convention. Ha. Did not happen. But in the meantime Kelly found Ron Guyatt‘s fabulous travel poster ”Caloris Basin – Mercury” and we worked with him to use it for the cover.
And now the book is out!
Two of the stories are already online: “The Best Day of the Year” (on Tor.com) and “Trafalgar and Josefina” (on Belletrista), and just today ”Of Navigators” went up on the lit journal Eleven Eleven’s new site (their print edition will be available here). And reviews are coming in from all over. The Willamette Week (“a thing of digression and casual wonderment”) liked that Trafalgar was translated by an Oregonian. Abigail Nussbaum, in the Los Angeles Review of Books, called it ”A novel that is unlike anything I’ve ever read, one part pulp adventure to one part realistic depiction of the affluent, nearly-idle bourgeoisie, but always leaning more towards the former in its inventiveness and pure (if, sometimes, a little guilt-inducing) sense of fun.”
Trafalgar is hard to describe, which is part of the fun of it. Put the coffee on and join in.
Today we’re celebrating the publication of Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud’s first book in English, A Life on Paper: Stories, translated by Edward Gauvin. Obviously we will be watching the New York Times bestseller list closely this week because this book is a surefire hit: not only is it a translation, it’s a short story collection. Last week’s bestseller list contained four collections (one translated from Basque, one Welsh) and two anthologies—one of the usual sex+drugs+rocknroll stories and the other an anthology of Czech novellas. So the national appetite is whetted for a collection such as A Life on Paper, which introduces one of France’s premiere masters of the form. Run to the store! Or, download it now.
Edward Gauvin first brought Châteaureynaud to our attention a couple of years ago with a small chapbook of three stories, Trois Contes (One Horse Town), and he continued to keep us up to date with his doings. There had been a story published here, a story there, had we seen that Châteaureynaud won another award, let me tell you about this great and weird novel he just published. He sent us some pictures of the author (see below—and we realized that this was the French Vonnegut) and a few of his French book covers. Eventually we clued in to the fact that we are publishers and here was a fantastic French author whose work hadn’t been published in ye olde English language. At that point we broke out the checkbook and acquired the book. We also realized that Châteaureynaud’s face was about the best cover possible for this book. There’s a face that says I’ve got stories to tell.
Publishing a translation of 22 stories taken from half a dozen different collections whose rights are owned by three different publishers and the author has been . . . interesting! The easiest part was working with Brian Evenson who wrote the excellent Foreword to the collection. The more difficult part was that thing about the three publishers and so on. However, that’s where the French Publishers’ Agency comes in. The lovely people there worked with us on all those contracts (and the revisions, the endless revisions!) with Actes Sud, Grasset, and Juilliard, and without them it’s unlikely that this book would have made it to publication here in the USA. They also worked with us and Edward on applying for a couple of different grants—which very much helped with the costs; and one of the grants may be used for Châteaureynaud’s next book instead of this one. Because it turns out that some of Châteaureynaud’s work is connected and if you read some of these stories they help set up the world of some of his novels. Which is something we’re looking forward to getting to once Edward sends us the translation. Of course, Edward is off in Belgium on a Fulbright, but we’re hoping he won’t be so enamored of the Belgian beer and books that he will forget his US readers patiently waiting for the next Châteaureynaud.
So in the meantime, we’re proud to present our second translation—Kalpa Imperial by Argentinean writer Angélica Gorodischer and translated by Ursula K. Le Guin being the first—and newest collection of short stories: A Life on Paper. As usual for us, this book crosses many genre borders so no doubt in some bookshops you will find it shelved in fiction and in others you’ll find it in science fiction. The one given is that you should go out and find it!
In the new issue of LCRW we’re very happy to present the first English publication of multiple award-winning Chinese writer Zhao Haihong. Her story “Exuviation” was first published in 2000 in Science Fiction World Magazine and received the Galaxy Award. Zhao Haihong has an M.A. in English literature from Zhejiang University and teaches English literature in Zhejiang Gongshang University in Hangzhou, China. She started writing science fiction in 1996, and has received the Galaxy Award from Science Fiction World Magazine, the Soong Ching Ling Children’s Literature Award, and the sixth National Writers Association Award for outstanding children’s literature in China. Her first story collection, Eyes of the Birches, was published in 1999.
Fabulous intern Diana Cao (who, coincidentally, will be studying in Beijing for a month later this summer) interviewed Zhao Haihong last week:
Diana Cao: Could you first give some background about how you arrived where you are in your writing today?
I’ve loved reading and writing since childhood. To me, writing was the only way to prove who I was in my middle school. I tried various kinds of writing in the six years, and some of them were science fiction stories—among them was a story I sent to Science Fiction World magazine and had published. The story “The Rising of the Great Rift Valley” won me the first prize of the Guangya Science Fiction Story Contest for Students (1996) held by the magazine. I was thrilled by the result and that’s the real start of my science fiction career. Since then, I have published 21 science fiction stories, mostly in SFW and later collected in two books: Eyes of the Birches and The Other Side of Time. My third collection The World and my first novel Crystal Sky will be published this year. These stories have brought me six Galaxy Awards (1997-2002) by SFW, the Sixth Soong Ching Ling Children’s Literature Award (2003) and the sixth National Writers Association Award for outstanding children’s literature in China (2004)—the last two are governmental awards, and science fiction is included under children’s fiction for governmental awards. Read more
Mon 26 Apr 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., Alasdair Gray, blind consumerism, bookshops, Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud, Interstitial Arts, Julia Holmes, Karen Lord, translations | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin
Catch-up post about recent happenings with our books.
1) April: Alasdair Gray! At last! Nope. Now a June book due to a printer error. Sigh. You can see an excerpt on Scribd.
2) May: Edward Gauvin (translator of A Life on Paper) was recently blogging on translations, Belgium, and more at the 3% blog. (Surely 3.5% by now?)
4) June: 2 starred reviews so far for Karen Lord’s Redemption in Indigo!
5) July: good news coming soon on Julia Holmes’s debut novel Meeks.
Ok, bored with numbering now. The Interstitial Arts Foundation has a call for papers for a new interstitial-sounding anthology:
What is Interfictions Zero? Interfictions Zero is an online virtual anthology, comprised of a Table of Contents listing seminal pieces of published interstitial writings (with live links to those texts where possible) and original essays about the focus pieces listed in the TOC. With the online publication of Interfictions Zero, the Interstitial Arts Foundation will begin to create a historical context for how interstitial writing affects the growth and development of literature over time.
There’s also an interesting addition to the ongoing conversation about translations at the IAF blog.
Poets & Writers spotlights one of Chicago’s many wonderful bookstores: Women & Children First.
Do you like Rachel Maddow? Essentials in Northampton has the shirt for you—in white or pink and 10% of all proceeds will be donated to support the Capital Campaign for the Northampton Survival Center.
Apparently the folks at Essentials aren’t having quite enough fun there so there’s this site, too: My Parents Made Me Wear This.
The NY Center for Indie Publishing their 6th Annual New York Round Table Writers’ Conference, May 1 (er, tomorrow!), 9AM- 7PM, where you can meet various people in publishing—including Kelly’s fabby agent Renee Zuckerbrot. Tickets are Members – $69.00/Non-Members – $89.00/Student – $20.00:
Please e-mail [email protected] to reserve or confirm a spot today – we hope to see you all here on May 1st!
And that’s it for now. Maybe there’ll be more later. After all, what else is there to do on a spring afternoon but haunt the web and wait until the tick tick tick hits leaving time!
Somewhere out in April or May we can see the new issue of LCRW. It’s looks like an LCRW: b&w cover (unveiled herein, ta da!), sixty pages, some color in the pdf version, a picture of Ursula or two, fiction and poetry and a comic from writers you may or may not know, and possibly, delivered to your door with a chocolate bar through hail, kale, ice or snow by the postal service of your country.
One oddity about this issue: there are a few stories about travel and sleep—two of our favorite things. And this issue does indeed as promised include two translations: yay!
The best way to ensure delivery: subscribe!
ToC after the jump: Read more
And a short tab closer:
- The Spec Lit Foundation Older Writers Grant ($750) is open to applications until the end of the month. Apply here.
- Reading Local Portland has an interview with our favorite furniture mover, Ben Parzybok—and, bonus, Laura Moulton.
- Reading has been somewhat scattershot between Steampunk stories (latest in is from Ysabeau Wilce, yay!) and the old submission pile but Suzy McKee Charnas’s “Lowland Sea” is a fantastic start to Ellen Datlow’s new The Best Horror of the Year, Volume 2.
- Also very much enjoying Mark Rich’s collection, Edge of Our Lives, which you can get direct from the publish RedJack Books.
- 3% announced the winners of their Best Translated Book Awards:
—Elena Fanailova for The Russian Version, translated from the Russian by Genya Turovskaya and Stephanie Sandler and published by Ugly Duckling Presse.
—Gail Hareven for The Confessions of Noa Weber, translated from the Hebrew by Dalya Bilu and published by Melville House Press.
- Our local copy shop (and LCRW maker) Paradise Copies in Northampton, MA, have a groovy new site.
- Fred Pohl keeps a fascinating blog and the other day he posted about a couple of books, The Ground Truth by John Farmer and Zeitoun by Dave Eggers.
- And Alan DeNiro, whose blog is sometimes abstruse but is on the must-read list, writes on the continuing tension between the book as a social object versus the book as a thing produced by one person alone.
- The one and only Libba Bray and Tiger Beat at Books of Wonder: